A brilliant bunch of stories and reports again folks! I just got caught up with all of them during several cups of coffee. Most enjoyable!
2nd Lt. Swanson has had a busy time the last few days. The arrival of his old chum Jim Collins was a most welcomed surprise. Add to that, he was informed yesterday morning, just before patrols went out, that his very first claim was actually confirmed! And during his arty spotting mission shortly after that, he and his gunner/obs, Lt. Christopher Dent, wound up in another scrape, this time with a pair of E.IIIs that engaged them just east of Loos. Swany quickly put the Parasol into a turning dive as he attempted to give the Lieutenant a clear shot at their attackers. The man is a wizard with the Lewis and scared off one of the Eindeckers immediately while the other continued to press his attack. Swany was jinxing and twisting to stay out of the enemy's line of fire, but despite his best efforts the Hun pilot still managed to lace the side of the Morane between both cockpits. It was only pure dumb luck that resulted in neither of the British airmen being hit. After some further turns, dives, and gyrations Christopher at last got a good burst of fire directly into the engine of the Hun plane, causing it to go into a tight spin. They lost sight of the Eindecker as it dropped into the haze beneath them. Brief moments later Swany suddenly realized how low they gotten as bullets from the enemy trenches below went zipping past. The young pilot turned his nose west as fast as he could, and he tossed his bus about in the process to throw off the aim of the gunners. He ended up with a handful of vents in his right wing anyway. Swany and Christopher then attempted to locate the other two members of their flight but to no avail and finally had to give up looking and return to camp without them. They learned later that both had been damaged in fights with other EA and had been forced to land, one on the western edge of Loos, and the other in a field about two miles short of Auchel. Once back home, the team of Swanson and Dent turned in their reports and claim forms and went for breakfast where they were told a short while later that the main wing spar in their mount had been shot through and it would take until tomorrow evening to repair it. There would be no flying for them until the 19th, at the earliest, as the squadron was now short of available aeroplanes. This was just fine with Swany as it would likely take that long for the young man's nerves to settle back down to a reasonable level of calm.
Not what one wants to see coming at them.
Also, not what one wants to see coming up behind them. Thank God for a gunner/obs who knows how to shoot.
Finding one's self far too low over No Man's Land and incurring the wrath of the enemy gunners.
Back at Auchel, relatively safe and sound, despite the holes in the fuselage and wing.